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Plant City Observer Friday, Jun. 17, 2016 2 years ago

Strawberry Crest High School traditional valedictorian and salutatorian 2016

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Kailey Locke is the valedictorian, and Cassidy Bazley is the salutatorian.

By Jose Lozoya
Staff Writer

Kailey Locke

Kailey Locke

Kailey Locke was a member of the Strawberry Crest Vet Internship Program, where she volunteered at a variety of clinics and shelters three times a week. Outside of school, she volunteered at Willis Peters Center for Exceptional Students, helping kids with special needs make art, and Mountain Vista Medical Center. Kailey  graduated with a 6.94 GPA. She is the daughter of Wade Locke and Rita Bell.

Was it your goal to become valedictorian? If so, why?

It was never a goal of mine to become valedictorian until I found out that I was valedictorian.

Did you think you would become valedictorian? 

I never really gave much thought to it before high school. In fact, I didn’t even know what it was or how to pronounce it.

When and how did you find out you were valedictorian? 

At the end of my ninth-grade year I was taking an exam, and one of the guidance counselors pulled me to the side and said, “I need to talk to you.” So he called me down to his office the next day and told me I was valedictorian, and he asked me my plans for the future and he gave me advice.

What is your favorite subject?

My favorite subject has always been math. It’s the topic I excel in the most.

What is the biggest obstacle you had to overcome in high school?

High school is filled with obstacles but my biggest one was my second semester of dual enrollment. I had three AP finals, two really hard college finals and I found out I was moving all within the same week. It was very stressful but, somehow, I passed my finals.

What does your family think of you becoming valedictorian? 

My family is very happy for me and, of course, very supportive through the whole thing. My dad, especially, has really been there for me to push me through the rough days and put up with my attitude when I got frustrated from school overload.

What are your plans after graduating?

After graduation I plan on attending USF.

What is your 10-year plan?

My 10-year plan is majoring in chemistry at USF and then attending medical school at UF to become an anesthesiologist.

What are your hobbies? 

My hobbies include drawing and painting, scuba diving and spending as much time with animals as possible.

What is your advice to other students?

My advice for other students would be to not slack off your freshman or sophomore year, because those years are very instrumental in graduating. Also be sure to find a nice school and social balance. Don’t overload yourself with school, but don’t neglect it either.

If you could be an animal, which would you choose?

If I could be any animal it would probably be my dachshund, Beauregard, because he’s always so happy, and all he does is eat and sleep.

Is there a book that has made an impact on your life?

The book that’s made the biggest impact on my life is the Bible.

What do you sing in the shower?

Anything that pops into my head. It could literally be anything depending on what kind of day I’ve had.

What’s the best advice someone has given you, and who gave you that advice?

My dad has always taught me to be humble and to be compassionate toward others, even if I don’t like someone. Another piece of advice that I like to remember is from my nana. She likes to remind me when I’m stressed that God has a plan for me and that everything is going to be all right.

Cassidy Bazley

Cassidy Bazley

Cassidy Bazley was a member of the Marine Science Club and Tech Club. She was also a band captain for the Strawberry Crest High School band. She managed to maintain a 4.0 unweighted GPA through her high school career. Cassidy graduated with a 6.48 GPA. She is the daughter of Jackson and Jessica Bazley.

Was it your goal to become salutatorian? If so, why? 

I didn’t set a lot of goals for myself in high school, but freshman year my guidance counselor told me that I had the potential to be in the top two by my senior year, and I thought, “You know, why not? You could totally do that.” And so I did. 

Did you think you would become salutatorian? 

Over the years, my rank fluctuated a lot. I’d gone from fourth to second to first to fourth again then sixth, and by the end of semester one senior year, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. But I kept working at it because I wasn’t going to give up on the one thing I wanted to accomplish. 

When and how did you find out you were salutatorian? 

Come February, there was a lot of speculation about who was in the lead, and a lot of the signs pointed to me for salutatorian. However, I didn’t want to believe in it until March 1, when the ranks were officially released. 

What is your favorite subject?

I love history. I’m pretty bummed that I didn’t have many history classes this year, but I plan on majoring in international affairs to keep that history/politics field prominent. 

What is your biggest high school accomplishment besides becoming salutatorian?

So, I have another nerdy accomplishment, and I have a more well-rounded accomplishment. I’m really proud to say that I have maintained a 4.0 unweighted GPA throughout my entire academic career, which was not always easy. On the other side, though, I was one of the band captains for the SCHS Marching Chargers this year, which was an incredible adventure in itself that has taught me a lot about myself, my peers, music and what it’s like to be a leader people look up to. 

What is the biggest obstacle you had to overcome in high school?

I think at times, the hardest obstacle was getting past the snide remarks about my being “too smart” or “nerdy” or about how I “care too much” about school. Sometimes, hearing those things over and over really got to me and made me question if I really did put too much effort into something that wouldn’t matter much in a few years. 

What does your family think of you becoming salutatorian? 

My family is incredibly proud of me for becoming salutatorian, and I find that to be highly rewarding. I spent lots of vacations and holidays doing homework while my cousins played or my family went out to dinner or something, and I don’t necessarily know that anyone knew why schoolwork meant so much to me until now. 

What are your plans after graduating?

I will be attending Florida State University in the fall as an honors student, which is what I’ve wanted to do for years. I plan on joining the world-renowned Marching Chiefs while I’m there too. 

What is your 10-year plan?

In a nutshell: go to college, go to graduate school, find somewhere to live other than Florida, get a job with the government, then be assigned to a job in England where I can also raise baby goats. 

What are your hobbies?

With what time? I’m primarily invested in band, which has been the greatest experience of my high school career and probably my whole life so far. I’ve gained amazing relationships and knowledge from this program that I wouldn’t trade for anything. 

What advice do you have for other students?

Don’t give up. It’s going to be hard, and there are going to be moments when you just don’t feel like doing anything anymore. Trust me, I’ve been there. But the outcome of your perseverance is incredibly rewarding and a feeling I think everyone should get to have at some point.

If you could be an animal, which would you choose?

If I could be any animal, I would definitely be a cat. I am basically a human cat already, so being an actual cat would be living the dream. 

Is there a book that has made an impact on your life?

I’ve read lots of books that have impacted me in one way or another. The one that comes most quickly to mind is “Paper Towns” by John Green. The thing that got to me about that book was Q talking about all of the “lasts,” particularly the last time sitting outside the band room. It made me realize that this is all coming to an end, and the time is now to appreciate what’s happened and make a few more memories before it’s too late. 

What do you sing in the shower?

Taylor Swift, of course.

What’s the best advice someone has given you, and who gave you that advice?

Although it wasn’t given to me directly, the best advice I’ve ever heard comes from Taylor Swift’s song, Fifteen. My favorite of the lines: Count to 10, take it in, this is life before you know who you’re gonna be.

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